A Labour MEP is urging employers, trade unions and other employees representatives to use European Health & Safety week (22-28 October) as an opportunity for greater participation in the process of making workplaces safer.
Glenis Willmott, Labour MEP for the East Midlands said: “Next week is European Health & Safety week, and a great opportunity for everyone in the workplace to look at ways they can work together more effectively on these matters.”
The European Agency for Safety and Health describes the week as: “Aimed at people in organisations, companies and workplaces of all sizes and sectors. Everybody involved in occupational safety and health matters is invited to take part, especially safety and health institutions and occupational insurance organisations, trade unions and employers’ organisations, companies, managers, employees and safety representatives.”
Glenis said: “There are really important issues involved here, and we mustn’t let headlines like “health & safety gone mad” sidetrack us from making our workplaces safer and healthier.”
“Trade unions in particular have a crucial role to play with regard to health & safety. Indeed, it’s actually one of the main reasons that people join and stay in a trade union. The TUC says that, in a survey, 70% of new trade union members considered health and safety a “very important” union issue – more even than for pay.”
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, in collaboration with the Europe-wide union confederation ETUC, has published a guide on worker participation for European Health and Safety Week. The TUC too has updated its ‘union effect’ guide and is also urging union reps to make use of its guide to inspections for National Inspection Day on Wednesday 24 October.